Theory of Architecture I
Reference AMSERV01000010
Taught in Major Course List for Master of Art ScienceMajor Course List for Master of Art ScienceMajor Course List for Master of Art ScienceMajor Course List for Master of Art Science
Theory (A) 30.0
Exercises (B) 30.0
Training and projects (C) 0.0
Studytime (D) 180.0
Studypoints (E) 6
Credit contract? Access is determined after successful competences assessment
Examination contract? This course can not be taken through this kind of contract
Credit contract mandatory if Exam contract? Separate credit contract mandatory
Retake possible in case of permanent evaluation? Yes
Teaching Language Dutch
Lecturer Maarten Delbeke
Department TW01
Key Words

Architectural thinking, basic concepts, proportion systems, ideologies

Position of the Course

Introduction into architecturalthinking from Vitruvius tot the 20th century. Acquaintance of basic concepts from the classical tradition such as the nature and the origins of architecture, its cosmological foundations, the anthropomorphous model, theories of harmony and proportion, its specific formal means. Basic components like building site, context and type, form and function. Knowledge of leading currents and themes from modern tradition, notably recurrent topics such as rationalism, functionalism and the relation of architecture with culture and ideology. Insight into the societal role and meaning of architecture.
Learning to write a paper on the basis of library search and comparative reading, with regard for the formal rules (footnotes, bibliography) wich will have to be applied in the Master's thesis.


  • Introduction: Definition and subject matter
  • Definitions of architecture
  • Basic concepts: The origins of Architecture; Architecture and Cosmology; Proportion systems; Basic components; Basic aspects
  • Selected topics Enlightenment: Copernican revolution; Perrault; Laugier, Piranesi, Boullée
  • Selected topics 19th century: Rationalism; Eclecticism; Romanticism and Symbolism
  • Selected topics 20th century: Early modernism; Modernism; Postmodernism
  • Exercise: Study of an elective topic

Starting Competences

History of Architecture 1

Teaching and Learning Material

Cost: 4.0 EUR
Syllabus (Dutch) with Reader (Dutch, English, French).


  • VITRUVIUS, De Architectura libri X (ca. 27 voor K.)Handboek bouwkunde, Athenaeum, Polak & Van Gennep, Amsterdam 1997 Nederlandse vertaling door Ton Peters.
  • G. GERMAN, Einführung in die Geschichte der Architekturtheorie. Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt, 1980.
  • H.W. KRUFT, Geschichte der Architekturtheorie. C.H. Beck Verlag 1985.Engelse vertaling: History of Architectural Theory
  • V. HART, ed., Paper Palaces, the Rise of the Renaissance Architectural Treatise, Yale UP, New Haven 1998.
  • J. ONIANS, Bearers of Meaning, the Classical Orders in Antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Princeton U.P., 1988.
  • J. GUILLAUME, ed., L'emploi des ordres dans l'architecture de la renaissance, Picard, Parijs 1992.
  • F. FICHET, La théorie architecturale à l'age classique - essai d'anthologie critique, Mardage, Luik, 1979.
  • J. RYKWERT, On Adam's house in paradise, MMA, New York, 1972.
  • J. RYKWERT, The Dancing Column - On Order in Architecture, MIT Press, Cambridge Mass., 1996.

Course Content-Related Study Coaching

During classroom lectures.

Teaching Methods

Classroom lectures; Lab sessions

Evaluation Methods

Evaluation during examination period (100%)

Examination Methods

During examination period: oral closed-book exam, written preparation

  Back to the highest level index Go to the general info section Go to the help pages Search the site Nederlandse versie / Dutch version Back to the previous page Back to the top of the page